Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, today lauded former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop for his principled stand on health care reform legislation before Congress and right to life issues in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
In his Nov. 2 letter to Reid and Pelosi, Koop expressed concern about provisions in the healthcare reform legislation that could lead to federal dollars being used to pay for elective abortions and called for strong protections in the bill that would guard against that and against health care providers being forced to "participate in abortions against their will."
Hatch, whose amendments to ensure federal funds would not finance elective abortions and would provide conscience clause protections to medical providers were defeated 13-10 by the Senate Finance Committee in September, said Koop's letter underscores the importance of this issue that Americans across the nation find so troubling.
"Most Americans remain inalterably opposed to paying for abortions. Most health care providers are vehemently opposed to being forced to perform elective abortions," Hatch said. "The refusal by the Obama administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress to include provisions in the bill to ensure this does not happen is puzzling and deeply disappointing.
"As Doctor Koop correctly points out, the health care legislation before Congress must be consistent with current laws with respect to abortion and conscience protections. I remain committed to doing all that I can to ensure that it does, and call on the Democratic leadership in Congress to include strong legislative language on these important matters."